Thursday, August 18, 2005



Since the introduction of "talkies" at the beginning of the 20th century, to the inception of the big production houses like Paramount and 20th Century Fox, and to today's multi-billion dollar business, movies of every genre continue to fascinate, educate, entertain and touch us. The value we put in this industry has no limit to the point that we are happy to pay movie actors millions and millions of dollars. I've been a movie buff since childhood and one of my earliest memories is watching the Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland. I rejoiced when my own 10 yr. old expressed his own love of this timeless classic!
In the last couple of years I've also discovered "Bollywood".
Indian movies have opened up a whole new world to me that in all sincerity I was completely ignorant about. Thousands of Bollywood movies are produced every year but out of those thousands there are a number that rise to the surface. These movies are not just memorable for their music and dance, their colourful costumes and their gorgeous actors, but because of the beautiful stories that are being told. They are stories that speak of "connections". Connections with lovers, friends, parents, brothers and sisters, with ourselves and with our land of origin. Little by little I stopped focusing on the "cultural" aspect of these movies, and started to see the "human experience" that was being told through these stories.
As Canadians, we have the privilege of living in a country that is the home to people of many cultural backgrounds. We have the opportunity to learn and grow from other cultures.
More importantly we can stop seeing people of other cultural backgrounds as "different" and we can start to learn from the "human experience".
Once we stop focusing on the differences we will notice the thread that connects us all.

Quote of the day
We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return as results.
Herman Melville

Photo by Shirley Wu

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Every morning while driving on my way to work, I pass by a small group of 5-6 men who are walking together at a steady pace. They all appear to be in their mid to late 60's or they might even be a bit older. They all wear a white cap so its evident to me that they formed their own "walking club" or maybe they were all already part of the same club or organization and they started walking together. They are chatting as they walk and they still keep up a good pace, which tells me they they are all in fairly good shape. I smile when I see this little group with their matching caps and I am also moved. At first I couldn't understand what moved me about them but now I know.
They show me "life" is not in the body but in the spirit. They have more life in them than many men my age or younger.
They also show me the value of friendship and comraderie. I don't know how long they've all been friends but I do know that they enjoy each other's company enough to want to get together early every morning. They show me the value of commitment. Because of it they continue to benefit from the daily exercise that is so vital to maintaining an active lifestyle at their age and at any age.
They are passionate in their dedication to keeping healthy and active and they're doing it with style!
I hope I continue to spot them on my way to work every day. Its great to be inspired by great leaders, sports heroes and historical figures but its even greater to find inspiration in people we meet in our everyday life or even in each other. Way to go White Cap Club!

Quote of the day
"The Quality of a persons Life is in Direct Portion to their commitment to Excellence, Regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."
-Vince Lombardi

Monday, August 08, 2005


The comfort zone

The comfort zone

Body language experts say men and women have an invisible area around them that should never be invaded. This personal space is different for each individual but we all have it and it can be very incomfortable to have to deal with someone who steps into this area that only exists in your mind.
In the same way, over the years we all develop "a comfort zone" in relation to our our everyday interactions with people. "We all like to give the impression that we embrace change and that we live for things that are new and different. But when it comes down to decision time, most of us stick to a very short list of comfortable situations that define what's called our 'comfort zone' "(Jim Turner)
Experience and character play the greatest part in shaping our "comfort zone" and it can be very challenging to try and break out of our routine. Everyone of us, to a higher or lesser degree, have been functioning within some self-imposed limits because it makes life easier. For one second lets stop thinking about life having to be comfortable and easy and lets step into the realm of exciting, passionate and limitless for starts.
For some getting out of their comfort zone might mean just starting up a conversation with a stranger or a co-worker we would like to get to know. For some it could mean finally taking that dream vacation that will cost lots of money but that will create priceless memories and experiences. For others it might mean going home and really trying to talk to our loved ones so that we create genuine relationships. Its not easy, but nothing really worthwhile ever is, at least not in my experience.
Here's a little poem from an Unknown Author that speaks clearly about the benefits of taking the first step:
By Author Unknown
I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn't fail.
The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.
If you're in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; success is there for you!

Friday, August 05, 2005


Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Long stretch of beach, crystal clear water, bright sunny sky... okay okay I'm just dreaming aren't I? But who says I'm not allowed?
We always ask children what they want to be when they grow up and we take their answers very seriously. The purpose of this question is to open up their mind to the endless possibilities life offers them, to enhance their self-confidence and to instill in them the idea that with hard work and perseverance they are sure to achieve anything. In other words, we allow them to dream.
As adults we deny ourselves this privilege yet if we were to continue asking ourselves the question: What do I want to be? we would be ever evolving, open to change and each new day would be an opportunity to learn something new. Have you stopped dreaming or do you allow yourself to believe that, as crazy as it may seem to others, your dreams will come true? The harsh realities of life do take a toll on us over time but in a sense we must continue to have the mind of a child- when a child dreams of being something or of something happening they don't think of all the obstacles ahead. Dreams are even powerful enough to bring about social change. When Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream" speech, he inspired a whole generation to believe the impossible.
As part of a recent classroom assignment, 7th and 8th grade students at the Bruderhof in Chester (New York) examined King's speech - and attempted to put their own dreams on paper.
Here is an excerpt:

"I have a dream that one day, brother shall not fight against brother. There shall be no difference of race but all shall live as one great family: great in love, in peace, in joy. There shall be no rich, no poor, no downtrodden and despised, but all shall be equals in love; men, women, and children. I dream that from ocean to ocean, from earth to sky the message of love will speed with the wings of an eagle and the fins of a dolphin and the paws of a leopard until all creation might raise its voice in song of praise; joyful praise to the Creator." Shaina Huleatt, 12

Quote of the day
"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters."
M.L.K., 1963

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